Strange... Oh so Strange
A Sports Night Fanfic
Written by DJ Carter

"Five minutes to live, First Team report to the studio."

"Dan, do you ever think that maybe once they should change that?" Casey McCall asked, walking through the newsroom.

"Change what?" Dan Rydell asked in return.


"What?" Dan asked, confusion edging into his voice.

"You know what! The 'First team to studio' thing" Casey told him.

"Well, normally I might agree, but ya know, you've got to go with what works my friend," Dan replied, as they walked up to the desk and sat down.
"Sixty seconds to VTR, Two minutes live," Dave said as final preparations were made to start the show.

Isaac Jaffee walked into the control room and looked around, slightly confused.

"I'm seeing the show starting," He said out loud.

"Normally what we do, Isaac," Natalie replied, not turning away from her work.

"Normally Dana is here, she is-" Isaac started, but then was interrupted by Dana walking in the room.

"Speaking of the lady of the hour..." Will remarked, and then was immediately silenced by a death stare from Natalie.

"A phone call that would NEVER end..." Dana muttered.

"Roll VTR, Sixty seconds to live," Dave remarked again.

"Good luck everyone," Isaac said as he walked out of the Control Room.
"I'm excited about tonight's show Casey," Dan said.

"Uh huh..." Casey said distractedly.

"It's going to be great," Dan continued.

"Uh huh..." Casey replied again.

"We're all going to run around naked, and scream words in Latin, and then talk using our butts," Dan said once more.

"Uh huh..." Casey replied again.

"Casey, are you listening?" Dan asked.

"Twenty-five seconds to live," Dave's voice rang over the intercom.

"Listening to what?" Casey asked.

"...Never mind..." Dan said
"That about wraps it up for us here at Sports Night. We'll see you tomorrow, and undoubtedly have a chock full of fun stuff for you kids. I'm Dan Rydell, and for Casey McCall and the rest of CSC, have a good evening," Dan said.

"Animation and sound are up," Will said.

"Good show everyone," Natalie said.

Dana stood up, and looked around the control room. This was a staff she could honestly be proud of. Ever since Quo Vadimus had bought out CSC and with it Sports Night, she had learned to value and treasure that which she had almost lost.

"Great show everyone," She said as she walked out. As she left the room, Dan and Casey walked through.

"So Casey, what are you up to after the show? The rest of us are going out. We'd enjoy it if you came with us," Dan offered.

"Sorry Dan, I've got some things to handle. Maybe tomorrow," Casey replied.

"Things?" Will asked, overhearing them.

"Things," Casey replied, as he and Dan walked out.

"Come on Casey, you've been rejecting my offer the last week. Come to think of it, you've been distracted the last week. What's going on? Somethin' up between you and Dana?" Dan asked.

"It's a secret," Casey said, grabbing his jacket from their office.

"I hate secrets Casey. Wanna know why?" Dan asked.

"Why Danny?" Casey asked, stopping in his tracks.

"We end up losing our pants in the process!"
"I can't believe it!" Dana said, smiling.

"What?" Casey asked her.

"We got through the first rundown of the day in a timely fashion! I'm so happy!" Dana said, as she jumped up and did a happy dance.

"Dana, I need to leave for a couple hours, is that all right?" Casey said, standing up.

"Sure. Is there a problem?" Dana asked him.

"Nope, I just need to get some things in order," Casey replied.

"Man, the way you said that makes it sound like your going up to the roof and jumping," Dan muttered.

"All right Casey, Just make sure you're back for the next rundown. One minute late and I shoot you," Dana replied.

"What about thirty seconds?" Casey asked.

"I shoot you," Dana said.

"Man, have you heard of New York traffic?" Casey asked.

"Man, have you heard of me shooting you?" Dana asked.

"Hey Dana, maybe you should cut him a little slack. He never leaves!" Dan said.

"True... How long do you think it will be, Casey?" Dana asked.

"I'll go as fast as I possibly can, Mom," Casey responded.

"Then go!"
Dana sat in her office, looking over some of the information for the next rundown. Some of it was expected information, while some of it was new, totally unexpected, and exciting for her.

"I'm back Dana," Casey said, knocking on the partially open door.

"Great!" She responded.

"What have we got for the last minute of the show Dana?" He asked her.

"Dan already talked to me, so I've already planned for it," Dana said.

"All right," Casey said.

Casey kept standing there, watching Dana for a full minute before she finally looked up at him again.

"Don't you have a job to do, Casey?" Dana asked him.

"All right, all right! I'm leavin'," Casey said as he walked away.
"... securing a victory in the last thirty seconds, the Wings took flight. For more we go to Britney Bentonston in Detroit. Britney?" Dan said.

"Two minutes back," Natalie said over the P.A.

"Dan, Casey, after this, you have one minute till the end. I wish you would tell us what you are doing," Dana said.

"Don't worry about it Dana. Me and Casey would never do anything bad on the air," Dan told her, smiling.

"I'll be right back," Casey said, running out.

"What's he doing?" Dana asked.

"He's got something to take care of. He'll be back," Dan said, as he walked towards the camera crew, and started talking to them.

"Thirty seconds back," Natalie said over the P.A. as Casey walked back into the studio, with a piece of paper, and a new bottle of water.

"You ready Dan?" Casey asked.

"Ready as I'll ever be," Dan replied smiling.

"In three... two... one..." Natalie said over the P.A.

"Thank you Britney, for that report. Last year at this time, the wonderful Christmas season, we went through and thanked all of those who helped get our show on the air. This year, we want to give you a look at the crew that works in the control room," Dan said.

"That's right Dan. In our Control Room, we have Jeremy Goodwin, the resident expert on useless but interesting knowledge. Natalie Hurley is the Senior Associate Producer. Isaac Jaffee is the Managing Editor, and also the smartest of us all. Kim, Elliot, Dave, and Will are the run-arounds; they have various jobs, and are invaluable here. Finally, we would like to introduce you to the one who directs us from behind the scenes, and makes sure our shows are on time. Without her, we wouldn't be on right now. She keeps the show on track. Dana Whitaker, could you please come out here?" Casey asked.

Dan took this as his cue, and he ran out of the studio, and into the control room.

"Come on Dana!" He told her.

She didn't argue, as she got up and followed them out. Before getting on camera, she composed herself, and walked up to Casey.

"This beautiful lady next to me is Dana Whitaker, Executive Producer of Sports Night. I met her in college, and we've been friends ever since. The whole staff, including myself, has always been able to come to her, with any problems, or questions, or even just to talk. Now I have one question for you Dana Whitaker," Casey said as he got down on one knee.

"Will you marry me?" He asked.

"Yes..!" She said, as they embraced, on live television.

"For Casey McCall, and the rest of the CSC and Sports Night Crew, I'm Dan Rydell. Have a safe and wonderful holiday. Good Night," Dan said, sitting back at the anchor desk.

As the newly engaged couple walked off the set, Natalie walks out behind them onto the set.

She raises her fist in the air, and cheers.